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Comment: Re:Fuck it - everyone for themselves. (Score 1) 374

by calidoscope (#49134233) Attached to: The Groups Behind Making Distributed Solar Power Harder To Adopt

I'm with you on waiting for panel prices to drop some more, but I'm also waiting for a good battery pack to keep my house "off grid" until around 10 to 11PM. The problem with solar is that the peak generation occurs hours before peak load and even worse the generation will be close to zero at the time of peak load - search for "solar duck" for more info. The mismatch between solar generation and utility customer demand was pointed out to a group of us EE's at UCB by a PG&E official 40 years ago!

FWIW, I've seen your postings on at least one site and tend to agree with you more than I disagree.

Comment: Re:Fuck it - everyone for themselves. (Score 1) 374

by calidoscope (#49134181) Attached to: The Groups Behind Making Distributed Solar Power Harder To Adopt

In an ideal world, you would be credited for the incremental cost of generation, transmission and distribution when your panels provided power, but e charged for the incremental cost of generation, transmission and distribution when your house was drawing power. Keep in mind that the peak load on the Calif grid occurs about 7PM PDT so your solar panels are unlikely to offset capital costs for transmission and distribution.

I suspect that one of the prime incentives for Elon Musk to develop the homepower battery pack is to keep his Solar City investments from becoming worthless in a few years. By storing enough power for the house to stay off grid till maybe 10PM, he would be able to say that the Solar City installations are a benefit as opposed to a liability. Without the batteries, those installations will become a liability in a very few years - google for "solar duck".

Comment: Re:Then there was War Plan Red (Score 1) 313

Mighty Yar got it right, the US had embarked on a massive naval construction program in the early 1920's and was in a position to dictate the terms of the Washington Naval Arms treaty of 1922. If the other nations didn't agree, the US would continue building its fleet. Also helped that the Japanese diplomatic code had been broken, so Japan ended up agreeing to a reduced fleet. One consequence of the treaty was that two of the USN battle cruisers under construction were converted to carriers, and showing the USN that large carriers were more effective than small carriers.

The attack plans on Canada were drawn up as the US experience with WW1 led to vigorous opposition to any thought of engaging in another war in Europe. Opinion polls conducted in 1941 showed about 70% of the US opposed to involvement in Europe, and one result was that The US declared war on Germany on December 11th only after Germany declared war against the US on Dec 10.

The plan to take over the Soviet Embassy to search for nuclear devices wasn't delusional as the Soviets had smuggled in components for a nuclear weapon into the Washington DC embassy.

Comment: Make that THREE other things (Score 4, Interesting) 255

3) Port to to multiple architectures (and OS's) to catch bugs not reported by the original build environment. This is one of the approaches OpenBSD uses to improve security and was quite common in the open source software world when ESR coined the phrase.

The OpenBSD team found one very long lasting (30+ years) bug in the legacy BSD code when the Sparc64 build barfed.

Comment: Another SanDiegoFire memory (Score 1) 36

by calidoscope (#48660707) Attached to: How a Wildfire Helped Spread the Hashtag
One of the most useful instances of social media and Googles apps was a series of postings on a San Diego Union Tribune discussion board related to the fires. The poster was embedding links to a Google Maps page with frequently updated fire perimeter along with reports of where the evacuation centers were being set up. It was very useful as my family and I were about an hour from needing to evacuate when the winds shifted.

Comment: Re:the law (Score 1) 145

by calidoscope (#48477297) Attached to: Scientists Develop "Paint" To Help Cool the Planet

"it becomes cooler than the surrounding air by around 9F (5C)"

Sorry, not possible, as per the first law of thermodynamics.

How in the hell do you think dew gets deposited on grass, cars, etc? Dew forms when the surface temperature drops below the dew point of the air, which cannot be any higher than the ambient air temperature.

FWIW, a problem from my engineering heat transfer course indicated that frost can form when the air temp is 9F/5C above freezing.

The perversity of nature is nowhere better demonstrated by the fact that, when exposed to the same atmosphere, bread becomes hard while crackers become soft.